While defending Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis's refusal to issue marriage licenses out of her religious opposition to same-sex marriage, Mike Huckabee said Wednesday that the Supreme Court's 1857 ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford — which held that all blacks, free or enslaved, could not be American citizens — is still the law of the land even though no one follows it.
Radio host Michael Medved quickly pointed out to the former governor of Arkansas that the decision was overturned by the 13th Amendment. (Although the 13th Amendment ended slavery, the birthright citizenship clause in the 14th Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision.)
"I've been just drilled by TV hosts over the past week, 'How dare you say that, uh, it's not the law of the land?'" Huckabee said. "Because that's their phrase, 'it's the law of the land.' Michael, the Dred Scott decision of 1857 still remains to this day the law of the land which says that black people aren't fully human. Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?"
After correcting Huckabee, Medved then asked the candidate if he would attempt to overturn the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling with a constitutional amendment.
"I don't think that's necessary," Huckabee replied. "Because, in the case of this decision, it goes back to what Jefferson said that if a decision is rendered that is not borne out by the will of the people either through their elected people and gone through the process, if you just say it's the law of the land because the court decided, then Jefferson said, 'You now have surrendered to judicial tyranny.'"
"The Supreme Court in the same-sex marriage decision made a law and they made it up out of thin air. Therefore, until Congress decides to codify that and give it a statute it's really not an operative law and that's why what Kim Davis did was operate under not only the Kentucky Constitution which was the law under which she was elected but she's operating under the fact that there's no statute in her state nor at the federal level that authorizes her," Huckabee said before Medved cut him off for a break.
Earlier in the interview, Huckabee elaborated on a cutoff of his own, adding to an explanation he gave for his staff's blocking of Ted Cruz's attempt to come onstage at Kim Davis's release from jail, an event he says was "our event."
He told Medved that he had never heard of a candidate attending "another candidate's event."
"I'd never go to another candidate's event," he said. "I just don't do that and I don't know of any candidate who ever has."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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